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NNS: Piquet Picks Up Road America Pole

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Nelson Piquet Jr. claimed his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series pole in only his third series start Saturday at Road America.

The former Formula One driver took his No. 30 Chevrolet to a best time of 2:13.066 (109.516 mph) around the four-mile, 14-turn course, smashing the previous track qualifying record.

Piquet edged out fellow road racing ace Michael McDowell for the top spot by 0.31 seconds, with Canadian ace Ron Fellows completing the top three in his Chevy.

Jacques Villeneuve, who led Friday’s opening practice session, was fourth, ahead of final practice pacesetter Max Papis, who completed the top five.

The five quickest times came from the sixth and final qualifying group, with the No. 11 Dollar General Toyota of Brian Scott slotting in sixth with a 2:14.194 lap time.

Danica Patrick was ninth quickest among the 41 qualifiers.

Kurt Busch, who turned his first laps around Road America this morning after arriving from Sonoma, qualified 21st in his Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.

The Sargento 200 takes the green flag at 3:30 p.m. ET.

John Dagys is SPEED.com’s Sportscar Racing Reporter, focusing on all major domestic and international championships. You can follow him on Twitter @johndagys or email him at askdagys@gmail.com